Yesterday, ExpertVoice, the world's largest advocacy marketing company, released its findings from its first ever Consumer Trust Panel.
 
The panel revealed that only 4 percent of consumers trust celebrity endorsements, while 83 percent trust the recommendations from friends and family.
 
Tom Stockham, ExpertVoice CEO, discussed the panel.
 
“The panel was conducted with a weighted U.S. Census audience of more than 500 individuals with active lifestyle hobbies like running, biking, tennis, golf, swimming, baseball, etc.”
 
Stockham was not surprised by the 4 percent result, as trust is not at all what it used to be within today’s market.
 
“It is incredibly low but in all honesty, not very shocking. Consumer trust has really suffered in recent years. In 2015 Nielsen did a similar survey on the global trust in advertising. Even then they found that only 8% of Americans trusted celebrity endorsements and only 5% percent trusted endorsements from professional athletes. In the 3 years since the Nielsen study came out there are no shortage of bad celebrity endorsements – from Kylie Jenner’s infamous Pepsi spot to Steph Curry hawking Brita water filters. It’s no surprise that the numbers have dipped even more.”
 
The results show how off base many of the major brands are in today’s market. Sales-driven opportunities are increasingly rare and are not being capitalized on enough.
 
“Consumers have always turned to the people they trust for advice – from the saddle makers of the 19th century, mom-and-pop merchants of yesteryear and experts of today. While I don’t think these results come from new consumer preferences I do think they highlight the shift in today’s marketing. Marketers have lost track of the consideration and purchase phase of the marketing funnel, they’re focused solely on awareness and missing opportunities to drive sales. The results show the importance of brands focusing on the people their customers are already turning to for trusted recommendations.”
 
For brands looking to make an impact, Stockham suggests they get away from “pay-for-play,” and move towards a more personalized approach.
 
“The pay-for-play influencer model of today drives awareness and reach, but doesn't truly impact customer loyalty. While it can be time consuming and difficult to monitor, personalized interaction between the brand and its advocates drive loyalty and boost recommendations. The exchange of dollars tarnishes the authenticity and therefor the potential loyalty between the brand and the individual.”
 
“Start with your most active, loyal customers. Post-purchase marketing is much more than order information, shipping details, delivery confirmation, followed by increased targeted advertising. Instead, it should be about creating a dialogue with your consumers to identify your most passionate advocates. As you recognize these advocates it is important you engage them in meaningful ways. Give them insider access to exclusive information, product offerings, and details of key brand initiatives.”
 

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